Trollbeads Inspiration: The Soft Blues of Autumn 2012

Now that we’ve all met the new designs of the Autumn 2012 Trollbeads collection, the real fun begins… now we start to play with all the new beads and let them strut their stuff!

So far the new blues are the runaway stars of the new additions, with Tartooful’s Trollies falling in love at first sight with “Wave of Dreams”, “Traces” and “Cozy”.  “Wave” utilizes Lise Aagaard’s favorite glass pattern with the rich, unusual blues which are the hallmark of so many of her most beautiful beads.  So far we have seen a wide variety of expressions in this bead, as well as “The Eye” and “Blue Moonstone”.  In the photo above you’ll see two of the new “Cozy” surrounding a spectacular “Wave of Dreams”.  Both of these beads will probably find their way into my personal collection:  “Wave” onto my blue bracelet, and “Cozy” onto my fantasy necklace which is currently made up of all silver and ivory tones.

“Traces” has a base of our favorite, “Beautiful” blue, with a fascinating swirl of stone effect glass snaking around its circumference.  It has the same shape as the new “Spirit Light” from the Spiritual Collection released earlier this month.  The Stone layer is a lovely reference to early, and now very coveted, Trollbeads.  However, its organic, grey and ivory texture is very current, and will look gorgeous on so many of our ladies’ subtle blue compositions.  The new, faceted “Chalcedony” and “Blue Moonstone” will both add an opalescent, shimmering touch to our designs.  I’m glad to see the “Chalcedony” returned to the collection in its new format, as the colour really is exquisite.  “Blue Moonstone” is a perfect match for it, and very interesting, as we have already seen a wide variety of colours for the buds that dot its surface…. from olive, to lilac, to iridescent blue.

We had fun playing with the lighter side of the new blues, matching them with the ivory tones of “Cozy” as well as the new “Zebra Jasper”.  (Interesting name for this stone… I’ve never seen a rosy beige zebra…)  Names aside these neutral beads are so subtle and lovely, I can’t wait to try them in a completely creamy white design as well.  The new light blues are rich and bright and fascinating in their complexity.  They’re truly a delight!

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock, sterling”, “Blue Moonstone”, “Chinese Zodiac”, “Zebra Jasper”, “Traces”, “Faceted Chalcedony”, “Dancing”, “Cozy”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Cozy”, “Marry Me”, “Traces”, “Zebra Jasper”, “Chinese Zodiac”, “Blue Moonstone”.

We’ve been so very inspired by the new collection and have been on a wave of creative energy, trying all sorts of new combinations at our Troll workbench…stay tuned for some amazing eye candy!


Trollbeads Inspiration: CF updates for Spring 2012

CF’s remarkable designs have been an inspiration to many of us over the past couple of years… Her exquisite taste and uncompromising vision result in perfectly balanced compositions in absolutely gorgeous combinations of colour.

She selected this limited edition bead when it was released for the Denmark collection on Trollbeads’ World Tour.  “Anemones” is such a lovely creation, that it wouldn’t surprise me if it inspired much of the Spring 2012 “crispy green” collection.

At our celebration of the Universal Uniques last year she found two gorgeous additions to the composition:  the glass wave designs at right have wonderfully fluid patterns and feature unusual colour combinations.

With the release of the new Spring 2012 collection, CF found a couple of worthy additions… First, a “Forest Flowers” that beautifully echoes the original “Anemones”, while still having its own unique personality.

Newly released “Green Wave” tapers the bracelet down to the “Fish Lock”, and balances the Unique beads.  The ends are perfectly matched for colour, but subtly different in size of pattern.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Green Wave”, “Caribbean”, “Earth”, “Pisces”, “Mixed Armadillo”, “Turquoise Bubble”, “Treasures”, “Forest Flowers”, “Lime” (retired), “Blue Agate”, “Glass Trolls”, “Blue Agate”, “Anemones”, “Silver Trace, Green-Turquoise”, “Ocean”, “Peter”, “Turquoise Armadillo”, “Pisces”, “Heart Chakra”, “Universal Unique Aqua Wave”, “Universal Unique Small Green Ripple”.

Thank you to CF for allowing us to share this beautiful update to her Ocean bracelet… stay tuned for other bracelet updates over the next few days!


Trollbeads: iittala inspired

A new shipment of glowing glass from iittala of Finland inspired today’s bracelet… we had such fun putting it together on our workbench!  There’s just something about blue glass that strikes a chord with me… it makes me think of water, beach glass, antique bottles and my Mum’s collection of art glass (some of which, of course, was iittala!)

Anyone who is familiar with iittala knows that they are very famous for their gorgeous glass birds… so I thought I should select the “Swan Lock” as a starting point for this design…

For glass beads, I immediately thought of liquid-blue “beach” and “Turquoise Ribbon”, with its clear body and narrow swirl of colour.  Also, one of my favorite beads (and soon-to-be-retired) “Blue-Green Feather”, with it’s perfect teal.  I wanted the overall theme to be blue, teal and a touch of green, but couldn’t resist adding a “Labradorite” and “Azure Bubbles” to soften it and make it more wearable for everyday… last year we had mossy grey iittala, perhaps I was remembering them…

For a pop of brilliant green I chose “Earth”.  It’s truly incomparable for a mouthwatering hit of emerald.  Lots of our ladies repeat significant beads in a design, to give additional emphasis to a particular colour or pattern… I don’t often repeat, but decided to play with that idea a little this time, and tried two “Beaches” and “Jugends”.  I like the rhythm it offers, and the dominance of the unique, “Beach” blue.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Turquoise Prism”, “Blue Desert”, “Green Flower Mosaic”, “Angel Feathers”, “Beach”, “Labradorite”, “Jugend”, “Earth”, “Jugend”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Beach”, “Zanzibar”, “Blue-Green Feather”, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Grey Prism”.


Bracelet Update: MS recreates “Neptune’s World”

You may recall the outrageously beautiful collection by MS… her “Neptune’s World” bracelet in particular has elicited great admiration by the readers of this blog.  We posted photos of it when she first designed it…

It felt like a warm day in the Caribbean, or perhaps sailing around the Greek Islands…

However, always striving for perfection, MS has made some changes that dramatically alter the aesthetic of the composition.  She decided that she wanted to express a greater range of the mood of the ocean, not just a tropical paradise… so she has added more deep and soulful blues to the palette.  She has kept the same, beautiful blue, “Mexico lock”, and a number of the original silvers appear including “Pisces”, “Ocean”, “Treasures”, “Mermaid”, and “Happy Fish”.  There’s now a “Cancer” tucked into the design… she prefers this bead to express the crustaceans, rather than the traditional “Crab”.  The brilliant, emerald green that was hinted at by the “Caribbean” beads, is now more fully expressed with the addition of “Green Stripe” and several “Silver Trace, Green-Turquoise”.  The light that plays through these beads, and their cousins the “Silver Trace Blue-Cerise” is simply exquisite.  The light reflects off the silver core at the heart of each bead and makes them appear to be lit from within.

Another tour de force design by MS…


Trollbeads Inspiration: Pacific

The endlessly fascinating ocean is the inspiration for today’s bracelet… whether it is reflecting the cool grey of a cloudy west coast day, shimmering under sunny skies, or reflecting the glow of downtown’s lights at night… the ocean is an ever present part of Vancouver.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower lock”, “Neither Fish nor Bird”, “OOAK – blue daisy”, “Dolphins”, “OOAK – blue clouds”, “Treasures”, “Aventurine”, “Universal Unique – Navy Daisy”, “Earth”, “Ocean”, “Throat Chakra”, “Universal Unique – white shamrock”, “Deep Blue Bubbles”, “Treasures”, “Universal Unique – Green Venetian swirls”, “Dichroic Flower”, “Universal Unique – blue & white”, “Neither Fish nor Bird”.

This bead is so interesting – it’s made up of every soft and subtle shade of green, with a layer of clear, lemon yellow glass laid over top.  The graceful, swirling pattern reminds me of the beautiful venetian end papers found in antique books…

The blue glass that is set in the “Dichroic Flower Lock” is a particularly delicate, aquamarine blue.  I’ve used a pair of silver “Neither Fish Nor Bird” to frame it, giving it making it very eye catching, and giving it the additional emphasis that it deserves.


Trollbeads Inspiration: late summer citrus

Summer has been late and cool here on the west coast – tiptoeing softly in, barely noticed… and already I can see tinges of red in the leaves of the maples that hint at Autumn to come.  (Quick – enjoy summer while it’s still here!)

It only takes a glance at this composition to really feel Summer… the juicy oranges, the mouthwatering lime greens, the hot turquoises, the beach-ball dots and the silvers bursting with seashore imagery…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower clasp”, “Turquoise Green Dot”, “Neither Fish nor Bird”, “Universal Unique – amber stripe”, “Turquoise Armadillo”, “Rainbow”, “Treasures”, “Power Chakra”, “Amazonite”, “Universal Unique – yellow & white”, “Ocean”, “Peter”, “Turquoise Bubbles”, “Orange Steel”, “Neither Fish nor Bird”, “Turquoise Green Dot”.

I like the repetition of a couple of bead designs in this composition:  The “Turquoise Green Dot” reminds me of a child’s beach ball, and having two of them framing the clasp on this bracelet adds a playful note.  I also enjoy the odd little “Neither Fish Nor Bird”, and like the symmetry that it offers at the ends of the bracelet.

Another outstanding bead in this bracelet is the extraordinary “Turquoise Armadillo”… It’s quite petite, as many armadillos are, but the intensity of colour and unusual lime green element are stunning.  It’s perfect in this colour drenched design.


Summer Comes Softly…

“Bird Stories Again” by Anne Griffiths 36″x36″ oil & resin on canvas $1800

Summer comes softly here on the West Coast… in other places, Summer may arrive with a bang of bright turquoise water and lemonade yellow sunshine, but not here.  Here we have soft warm grey sand, velvety bone-white driftwood, teal water and beach glass coloured skies.

It’s not surprising that some of our favorite things this season are in soft tones that are perfect for our sun bleached summer.  Take this gorgeous RedFlag design bag:  It’s re purposed sailcloth that has been over dyed a subtle shade of grey.  The previous life of the material shows in the gradations of grey, which are distinct to each piece.  Most importantly, it’s roomy, simple and tough – perfect for carefree Summer days spent near the water.

We’re enjoying the softest of blue grey tones in the Trollbeads at the moment, and so many of our Troll ladies seem to be collecting in this palette as well… Beads like “Light Blue Stripe”, “White Petals”, “Silver Trace, beige-blue” or any of the beautiful, dichroic glass beads… These designs seem to glow from within, with a soft cool light that somehow just suits this time and place.  Try one of the Trollbead leather bracelets, and add just a few of your favorites, for an even more casual, summery feel.

It’s the soft time of the coast… enjoy…



Trollbeads Inspiration: Ocean Blues

We are loving the new range of ocean blues that came out with this year’s new Spring collection… they play so beautifully with some of or favorites from the Fall 2010 group, and together make a very wearable bracelet that feels just right with our laid-back, beach inspired, west coast palette of soft blues and greys…

clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Light Turquoise Prism”, “Clear Blue Bubbles”, “Treasures”, “Blue-Green Feather”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Midnight Flower”, “Jellyfish”, “Ocean”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Beach”, “Waves”, “Cool Dusk”, “Turquoise Prism”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: CF’s ocean greens

Sometimes an entire bracelet can be inspired by just one bead.  This one was begun with a single, “Green Stripe” bead chosen by the owner’s young son.  The seed of an idea was sown, and just look at the beautiful bracelet that grew!

The rich range of greens, greys, teals and turquoises includes glass, natural stones, silver beads and carefully chosen dichroic glass…

clockwise from clasp:  “Basic double lobster clasp” (old style), “silver stopper”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Light Blue Braid”, “Zanzibar”, “Silver Mountain”, “Turquoise Prism”, “Carved Flowers”, “Amazonite”, “Heart Print”, “Silver Mountain”, “Troll with Big Feet”, “Silver Trace, Green-Turquoise”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Green Stripe”, “Three in One”, “Blue-Green Feather”, “Labradorite”, “Silver Stopper”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: light blue

It’s something in the air… so many ladies are inspired by light, watery blues and greys right now!  Maybe it’s because of our very own CRB’s lovely blue bracelet:

Of course, there are a few retired beauties on her bracelet, that we’re not able to snag for you at Tartooful… but in the current collection there are lots of designs that work beautifully to create a composition with this feel.

“Silver Mountain”, pictured at left is an important element in this design, with it’s icy blue, grey, and silver tones.  Most of the examples of this bead also include some ivory and rich vicuna, which add a contrasting warm note, and also complement other creamy  bead designs shown, such as “Beige Bubbles” or “Warm Dawn”.

Other key beads include “Light Blue Shadows”, from the Autumn 2010 collection, and everyone’s favorite, “Blue Desert”.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Clasp”, “Beige Bubbles”, “Light Blue Shadows”, “Warm Dawn”, “Jellyfish”, “Chalcedony”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Trinity”, “Silver Mountain”, “Grey Wolf”, “Green Jade”, “Water”, “Conch”, “White Petals”, “Bead of Fortune”, “Light Blue Dot”, “Silver Trace, Beige Blue”, “Blue Desert”.